Solo raiding: Jumping puzzles

| Saturday, August 31, 2013
I hate phase one.

It was fine at first. There was some learning and some challenge. I learned from the challenge. It was even fun.

But I hate phase one.

I suppose I could blame phase two. It was phase two that made me do phase one over again. Phase one never asked for anything but itself. Phase two asked for phase one as well, every time, even if I didn't get phase two complete.

I hate phase two.

And yet really, can I blame phase two? It needed phase one and it couldn't help that. It only ever asked for itself and phase one, and phase one already asked for itself, so what's so bad about phase two?

But I hate phase two.

Phase three really made me angry. It asked for itself and phases one and two. Sure, they already asked, but phase one only asked on its own. Phase two was the greedy one. And phase three? Well phase three topped them all.

I learned phase one. As I learned phase two, I learned to hate phase one. I learned phase two. As I learned phase three, I learned to hate phase two. Learning phase three won't fix phases one or two. It will demand them, but it will give nothing in return.

They are, altogether, a punishment mechanic. They do not merely demand time, for that I could bear. They demand repetition, and all for its own sake. We write that we will not fail phase one a hundred times on the blackboard, not because we failed phase one, but because we failed phase two.

I was having a fun time in Guild Wars 2. Deciding that I could not live on Civilization alone, nor a small set of FPS maps, I set off into Tyria again. I was having a blast. I died more than I should have, and at times I was frustrated with things, but I had fun. And then I did something stupid: I looked at a vista and thought, "yea, I can get that one this time."

Phase one and phase two and phase three, demanding all that came before, again and again. I stopped, recognizing that it was not fun. I went off to do my story quest (by which I mean, our story quest, for there are so many the same). I saved the queen, or started to, but overflow kept me away from what I needed.

I found myself near a jumping puzzle again. I went through some of it. Then some more. The launching gears were interesting. I laughed at people who didn't see the value of tangents. I wandered off course, for the puzzles aren't quite laid out, and when there are hostile mobs in the way, it is easy to feel nudged in another direction. I found the path. I found more. I jumped and jumped, mastering my jumping, at least on that phase. And then I fell. I got up again and jumped and jumped. And then I fell. A few more rounds of this and I felt a familiar feeling, the feeling that I was repeating what I already knew how to do because of something that I did not. It was a strange sort of anti-learning, repeating that which did not need repeating.

Maybe tomorrow I will return to it. Or maybe I will go do the quests and events, leaving the absurd mechanics behind, longing for the day when we can fly, and then all will be ruined, except one small stupid thing that will instead be abolished.


Jeromai said...

Launching gears, huh? Let me guess, you found the godawful Not So Secret Aetherblade jumping puzzle.

That one is apparently meant to be very difficult, though it does so in rather cheap and frustrating ways with a waypoint very far away and instant falling death when you fail at a later stage.

I would recommend less aggravating ones.

Goemm's Lab JP actually has a respawn at checkpoint sort of deal, which makes passing each phase feel like an accomplishment. (Only when it works though, when it bugs out and one falls out of the sky, one is ready to commit genocide on everything between you and the entrance.)

Klepsacovic said...

Yep, Aetherblade. It does at least have a point where falling means a setback rather than a total restart, but I have no idea how far in that is. That's part of the frustration of it, that I don't even know if I'm close.

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